A survey suggests that almost 71% teens use more than one social media accounts. But according to a new study conduct by the scientists from the University of Pittsburgh have suggested that using lots of social media platform linked to anxiety.
The study suggests people who use 7 to 11 social media accounts has three times more risks of depression than people who use 0 to 2 platforms.
Physician Brian A. Primack said, “This association is strong enough that clinicians could consider asking their patients with depression and anxiety about multiple platform use and counseling them that this use may be related to their symptoms.”
“While, we can’t tell from this study whether depressed and anxious people seek out multiple platforms or whether something about using multiple platforms can lead to depression and anxiety. In either case, the results are potentially valuable,” he added.
In 2014, scientists involved 1,787 US adults under the age of 19 to 32. To determine social media use, scientists used an established depression assessment tool and questionnaires. The questionnaires involve questions about social media use at the time.
They found that the participants who use seven to 11 platforms had 3.1 times risk of depression symptoms. They had 3.3 3 times the odds of high levels of anxiety symptoms. The researchers controlled for other factors that may contribute to depression and anxiety, including race, gender, relationship status, household income, education, and total time spent on social media.
Primack said, “It may be that people who suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, or both, tend to subsequently use a broader range of social media outlets. For example, they may be searching out multiple avenues for a setting that feels comfortable and accepting. However, it could also maintain the presence on multiple platforms. It may actually lead to depression and anxiety. More research is still required to tease that apart.”
Primack and his team propose several hypotheses as to why multi-platform social media use may drive depression and anxiety.
Co-author César G. Escobar-Viera said, “Understanding the way people are using multiple social media platforms and their experiences within those platforms—as well as the specific type of depression and anxiety that social media users experience—are critical next steps.”